Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bend Your Brain by The Minds Behind Marbles: The Brain Store

Bend Your Brain by The Minds Behind Marbles: The Brain Store is a brand new puzzle book written to challenge your mental skills.  Games and puzzles are not just for children.  Video gaming systems are now marketing thinking and memory games for adults.  In this generation of media, there is a new adult market for "games".

This 189 page book will certainly draw the attention of eccentric readers or consumers who follow the latest trends.  This book would make the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the middle aged relative or friend that is normally difficult to shop for. For the person that seems to already have "everything", this makes a unique and unexpected gift.

This book is well organized into game categories as well as difficulty levels.  For example categories include visual perception, word skills, critical thinking, coordination and memory.  Within each category there are various levels of difficulty ranging from easy to very difficult.  Ironically, the instructions to this book are presented graphically in simple black and white symbols or pictures.  This deceptively simple graphic style conceals the underlying frustration and challenges to come.

This book is more of a gimmick or marketing tool rather than a diagnostic test or IQ exam.  For example, some items depend on pop-culture and media.  Rather than a test of brain skills, it is more an indicator of one's media consumption- which will be difficult to those not well versed in popular culture, movies, television, magazines and popular entertainment media.  For this reason- these puzzles will be completely irrelevant or useless for some traditional readers.  For example, only those individuals well versed in entertainment media will be able to identify "Whose Mouth It Is" on page 38, a puzzle that tests visual perception.  This particular puzzle is considered to be the most challenging at a level of 5.  The inclusion of this is to make this book more appealing to the mainstream, and to draw in readers who may not normally work on puzzles, rather than Menza hopefuls. First and foremost, this book is intended for entertainment purposes, and it is not a diagnostic tool nor is it a study aid.  I imagine many readers will simply flip through the book, and attempt a few of the puzzles; the average reader probably won't complete this book, cover to cover. Most readers these days don't have the time to dedicate to a "puzzle" big.  I imagine this book might be a good way to kill time in a waiting room, at the DMV, or on a long flight; it certainly would be appropriate to display in airport newsstands- and who knows, maybe the reader will actually flex the muscles of his brain as well.

As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Three Rivers Press, a trademark of Random House LLC.

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